President Pro Tempore
Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April 30, 2013
Sen. Brian Bingman
Senate advances historic workers’ compensation overhaul
to Governor Fallin’s desk
The state Senate moved Tuesday to abolish Oklahoma’s
judicial workers’ compensation system. Senate President Pro
Bingman’s Senate Bill 1062, the Administrative Workers’
Compensation Act, replaces Oklahoma’s adversarial court process
with an administrative system. Oklahoma and Tennessee are the only
two states left in the nation currently employing a judicial process
for the resolution of workers’ compensation claims.
The Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act passed the Senate
by a vote of 35-12 and now heads to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin.
The measure will become law pending the governor’s signature.
Oklahoma’s court-based system, ranked the sixth most expensive
in the country, has been often cited by state business leaders as
the single greatest impediment to continued job growth and economic
Bingman lauded the measure’s passage as a historic moment
in state history.
“This is the single most important achievement to come out
of the state Capitol in years,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “Replacing
our broken workers’ compensation court is historic, and the
benefits of what we’ve done here today will be felt by Oklahomans
for generations to come. By finally putting the brakes on the runaway
costs of Oklahoma’s comp system, our state is sending a clear
and unmistakable signal to job creators. Now, they know we’re
serious about getting these costs under control. We’re serious
about offering certainty to small businesses, and we’re serious
about attracting good manufacturing jobs back to Oklahoma. Most
important of all, our legacy industries know we mean business when
we ask them to grow their investment in Oklahoma’s future.”
An independent analysis by the National Council on Compensation
Insurance, the nation’s largest provider of workers’
compensation data, predicted Oklahoma could see hundreds of millions
of dollars saved every year as a direct result of SB 1062.
Senator Anthony Sykes, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
has worked closely with Pro Tem Bingman to develop SB 1062. Sen.
Sykes presented amendments to the measure on the floor of the Senate
and highlighted the need to care for injured workers in a prompt
“Oklahoma’s judicial system hasn’t done a very
good job of taking care of injured workers,” said Sykes, R-Moore.
“In the future, if you get hurt on the job, there won’t
be a trial lawyer standing between you and your doctor. Workers
will see better health outcomes, they’ll be receiving care
in a timely manner, and they won’t be pitted against their
employer in a court room. I’m proud of what we’ve done
here today, and I look forward to seeing this bill’s positive
impact on the future prosperity of Oklahoma.”
Under SB 1062, an administrative workers’ compensation system
would be structured with three commissioners appointed by the governor,
subject to Senate approval, for six-year staggered terms. The Commission
will then appoint Administrative Law Judges to hear all claims for
For more information, contact:
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5605